Big Lots 4Q up 4.2%, but Full Year is Down

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An interior of Big Lots store
Big Lots' fourth quarter profits were up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) reported Friday a 4.2 percent increase in its fiscal fourth-quarter profits, as an increase in sales ecplised growing selling and administrative expenses. However, guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 missed Wall Street's expectations and shares fell.

The warehouse-closeout retailer reported a net profit of $114.7 million, or $1.75 a share, for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, a jump from $110.1 million, or $1.46 a share, during the same quarter last year. The number of shares outstanding dropped during the quarter.

Revenue in the fourth-quarter was up to $1.67 billion from $1.52 billion.

For the 2011 fiscal year, the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer reported a dip in net income to $207.1 million, or $2.98 a share, falling from 2010's income of $222.5 million, or $2.83 a share. The company set a revenue record of $5.2 billion, a 5 percent increase from 2010.

The opening of 92 stores in 2011 increased both revenue and expenses. The company also purchased Canada's Liquidation World and spent $359 million to buy back 11 million shares, or about 15 percent of outstanding shares, at the beginning of the year.

Its guidance for the fiscal first quarter fell below analysts' expectations, forecasting 75 cents to 81 cents a share, while analysts are expecting 81 cents a share, according to Reuters.

Shares of Big Lots were down $1.78, or 4 percent, to $42.71.

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